Cannes Fest Adds New PR Lions

U.K.'s Tim Bell to Chair Category's First Jury Next Year

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NEW YORK ( -- Next year a new public relations contest will be added to the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, after several years of discussion. The first PR Lions will be chaired by Tim Bell, one of the U.K.'s best-known ad executives.
Tim Bell
Tim Bell

Mr. Bell, who is actually Lord Bell, became famous in the U.K. when he worked with Maurice and Charles Saatchi in the 1970s to build the Saatchi & Saatchi agency and was often considered virtually the third Saatchi. He grew even more famous when he masterminded three winning election campaigns for the Conservative Party and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher from 1979 to 1987.

Developing his genius for high-level public relations, he joined the Lowe Group and bought out the communications division Lowe Bell Communications in 1989. He grew the company and took it public and is now the chairman and a major shareholder of Chime Communications.

The festival said the new PR Lions will have categories for sector-related PR, product and service, and technique. Entries will be judged on strategy, creativity and originality, execution and results.

Boom in entries
The festival's newer categories tend to grow faster than the older ones, such as print and film, keeping entries at a record level every year. In 2008, total entries grew 10.2% to more than 28,000. The new-in-2008 Design Lions attracted about twice as many entries as expected -- 1,126 -- so the festival had to scramble to add more judges to that jury. And entries for the Promo Lions, another relatively new category, were up 40%.

The PR Lions will open the June 21-29 festival, with prizes handed out at the first awards show June 22 along with the Direct and Promo Lions. According to the festival, information about entering the new PR Lions contest will be posted at the end of January 2009 at
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